Wow, it’s been a while. Or has it? I don’t know. Literally, my sense of time is so distorted. I feel like I haven’t been here for as long as I have and that everything is moving fast. I’m beginning to stress a little, not going to lie. It’s a mixture of FOMO, sleep deprivation, excitement about all the wonderful things to come and nervousness for my non-existent documentary subject. That being said, I’m still LOVING my trip, and I’m thankful everyday that I get to have these experiences.
First off, we finally went on our first excursion out of Germany. (I’ll get to that, haha) With film work and AIB events we haven’t really gotten to travel, but it seems like that ALL we talked about for weeks. Tensions have definitely been a little high, and people have gotten kind of edgy. Why?
Ticket prices rise FAST. Everyone wants to see everything. We’re working on our documentaries all November and December so we can’t leave those weekends so September/October are getting CRAZY busy. I want to see so much, so does everyone else, but it’s hard when we haven’t heard back from our subjects and hostels are running out and we have to decide QUICK.
That being said, now I’ve made plans. Everyone is figuring it all out. Life is good. I’m so excited for the places I’ve booked. You’ll just have to find out later where those places are!
Anyways, a recap on this last INSANELY PACKED week. Now you’ll understand why I feel so over-stimulated. (in a good way) Here goes.
Thursday’s Rhine cruise with the AIB: What an amazing experience. We got to explore Bacharach, a really charming/ old-Germany kind of town. It felt like a fairy tale walking down the streets. Then we got to hike up a hill and really look over the city, the vineyards and the Rhine. Did you know that they hand-pick all the grapes because the hills are so steep?
Then we actually got to get on the Rhine cruise. We saw like 10 castles in an hour from just floating along the Rhine. It was incredible. In such a short time we got to see so much. Not to mention it was fun talking/ struggling as the wind blew our hair all over the place.
Then we got to get lunch in Braubach and tour the Marksburg castle, casual. Learned a lot about how people were shorter, how castles were built for war, how people were tortured- it was pretty fantastic. We got to try on a knight’s helmet! Oh and Antonio scared someone in our group enough to make her pee her pants, and then we went to a Winery for, um… lemonade tasting. Which everyone knows I absolutely LOVE. So that was wonderful. Everyone was pretty happy at the end of Thursday. Lots of chatting, sight-seeing, eating and then drinking- with class.
Friday night at the Putzchens Markt : Think about combining the State Fair and Las Vegas, then adding a lot of typical German food and drinks – BAM, the Putzchens Markt. It was like an amusement park on an acid trip (lights, smoke, music) but with Germans walking around being significantly cooler than us. We got there at about 8ish and if it weren’t for having leave at 11pm (we were waking up at 5 am the next day), I would have stayed all night. It was so much fun pushing through crowds with a group of people I’ve grown to love, stopping for drink/snacks, hitting up the bumper cars and getting lost in the craziness. Not to mention Mauriz was hilarious.
All Day Saturday at The IBC Conference in Amsterdam: First off, the IBC conference was HUGE. Kayla and I legitimately got lost so many times. It was just full of the newest film equipment, editing software, color correction, TV broadcast systems, drones- anything related to film, you name it, it’s there. It was overwhelming and wonderful at the same time. To be honest, I barely understood what most of it was, but I’m happy to have learned a lot. I especially enjoyed hearing a presentation from the editor of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and spending over an hour in the futuristic section (8K video, virtual reality, HDR montitors ect.) Did I mention virtual reality??? SO COOL. I love geeking out. I will never stop appreciating how much really goes into film-making. I only wish we had had more time in Amsterdam, as we spent about 7 hours inside at that conference.
Saturday Night/ Sunday Afternoon in Amsterdam
We got to our hostel Saturday night, ate, walking around, exploring. Then it started POURING down rain as we were roaming, so we got DRENCHED and kind of called it a night in the hostel bar. It was fun, we were a mess, we called it kind of early and got a decent amount of sleep. Then we spent the whole of Sunday trying to fit in as much as possible. We visited the Anne frank house in the morning, hopped on a last-minute canal tour (because I desperately wanted to orient myself in Amsterdam) and took a lot of pictures. We even managed to find the largest Protestant church! Unfortunately, the line for the Anne Frank house was long and the canal tour had a few stops, so with checking out of the hostel and finding food it was hard to squeeze a lot in/ be at the bus at 4:30. Hence, Amsterdam was a beautiful whirlwind that I wish I could have experienced longer. The canals, the bikes, the “coffeeshops”, the slanted buildings… It was one of the most interesting cities I’ve been in for sure.
What was most interesting about this week, however, was noticing how the dynamics within our group started to shift. People seem to group together more, and I think feelings go unintentionally hurt. The problem with such an intimate group of 19 is that there are just too many people for us to travel in groups, and certain people naturally begin to clique off. When we’re all together, like the Rhine cruise, we all have so much fun. But in our free time we all branch off. I can’t tell how I feel about it quite yet. Oh, it was also really interesting sharing a hostel room with Kayla, Kelcey, Amanda, Antonio and Nader. I got really lucky with the random room assignment. They’re wonderful. But so are so many people in our group.
All in all, I’m still happy that I’m abroad. I’ve learned a few things this last week, which includes but is not limited to: pack MUCH more lightly with closes, pack a ton of food if you can (because I definitely packed a lot of meat and cheese and regretted nothing while everyone else got hangry), plan out what you want to do before you go places, be okay with a really limited amount of time in an new place, learn how to not sleep and still enjoy experiences, and try to always find the positives.
Before I end this- I’d just like to say that my favorite experience, despite everything, may have been witnessing what I thought was a squirrel running towards a tree with human food (something my LMU friends are quite familiar with). Turns out it was a large RAT hopping- yes hopping- along the streets with a PRETZEL in its mouth. Oh, Germany.
Anyways, until next time- thanks to whoever cares enough to read this (: TCHUSS!